Pediatric Specialty Services Now Available at St. Mary’s

September 3rd, 2015

Today, leaders from two Maine health systems announced enhancements in their affiliation that will bring additional world-class specialty services to the residents of Central Maine starting in August.

Clinical and administrative representatives from MaineHealth/Maine Medical Center and Covenant Health/St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center have committed to expansion and centralization of pediatric subspecialty services to be provided at St. Mary’s by physicians from The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

These pediatric subspecialty services include Gastroenterology, Pulmonary, Endocrinology, and Genetics. The Pulmonary and Gastroenterology practices are home to Maine’s only Board-certified pediatric pulmonologists and gastroenterologists. The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital pediatric endocrinologists currently see patients at St. Mary’s offices.
“Our goal is to provide centralized local access to the world-class specialty care available through The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center so parents and their sick children don’t always have to travel to Portland,” says St. Mary’s CEO Lee Myles.

“We understand the burden that travel sometimes places upon parents and their children as they are treated for and recover from serious illness and conditions,” says MMC President and CEO Richard Petersen. “This collaboration means families will have access to key medical services closer to home.”

Pediatric subspecialists will see patients at St. Mary’s in the office building located at 100 Campus Avenue, Lewiston. When more advanced care is required and travel to The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital is necessary, the local presence will support seamless coordination for patients to see a Maine Medical Partners physician in greater Portland.

Both Myles and Petersen believe this is another step toward an enhanced relationship between the two systems and hospitals.

“This is a natural extension of the relationship between St. Mary’s and Maine Medical Center,” says Myles. “It provides a future path for collaboration that likely will result in local access to additional, specialized care services for the Lewiston/Auburn communities.”

CCS Pediatrics Welcomes Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH

September 2nd, 2015
Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH CCS Pediatrics

Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH
CCS Pediatrics

CCS Pediatrics is proud to announce Leigh Sweet, MD, MPH, has joined their team of Pediatric providers. Dr. Sweet is Fellowship trained in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. She performed her Chief Residency and Pediatric Residency at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. She earned her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts and a Master of Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health.  She has a special interest and expertise in immigrant and refugee health, infectious diseases, and tropical and travel medicine.

Dr. Sweet is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Infectious Diseases Society of America, International Society for Infectious Diseases, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

CCS Pediatrics is affiliated with St. Mary’s Health System and is located at 100 Campus Avenue in Lewiston. For more information about Dr. Sweet or CCS Pediatrics, please visit www.stmarysmaine.com or call (207) 755-3160.

Youth Lead St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner

August 27th, 2015

More than 100 community members, staff, youth, volunteers, supporters, and gardeners, attended the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner on Thursday, August 13, to celebrate all the hard work and community service that has been accomplished this growing season.  This annual dinner highlights the Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens program; attendees included the Youth Gardeners and their families, some of the 120 families that garden in the community garden plots in downtown Lewiston, and others who have participated in or supported the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, Lots to Gardens, and the St. Mary’s Food Pantry over the year.

The evening was orchestrated by the Youth Interns and Summer Youth Gardeners (SYGs).  Much of the menu was locally grown and developed and prepared from scratch by the SYGs.  It also reflected diverse culinary tastes, includingsambusa, Indonesian fried rice, Thai beef salad, cucumber salad, Asian slaw, Moroccan carrot salad, sesame green beans, baba ganoush, African greens, and beet brownies. Youth Interns,

Community Gardener, Carolyn Messer, won the veggie basket door prize at the recent Annual Community Dinner held by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

Community Gardener, Carolyn Messer, won the veggie basket door prize at the recent Annual Community Dinner held by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

Mohamed Abdullahi, Julian Marley, and Hafsa Ahmed guided the group of SYGs in a short presentation about their summer experience in the program.  The presentation included some original poetry and drumming.  True to the Nutrition Center’s mission, the door prize, won by Community Gardener Carolyn Messer, was a basket of fresh veggies from the Nutrition Center’s Community Gardens.

The Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens youth programs are open to Lewiston/Auburn area youth between the ages of 14-18.  Through the program, youth get job training and experience, learn about gardening, nutrition, and cooking, and participate in leadership development and food justice workshops.  Youth programs are supported by generous donations from area individuals and businesses.  Sponsoring one youth position for $1,200 is a great way to give back and engage a young person in developing lifelong healthy habits and becoming an agent of change in their community.  Interested individuals can contact Nutrition Center staff for more information.

The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center promotes community health through organizing, advocacy, and education.  It is home to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Lots to Gardens, Lewiston Farmers’ Market, and garden, cooking, and nutrition education programs for adults, teens, and kids.  For more information, please see www.stmarysnutritioncenter.org or call 207-513-3848.

 

 

Sign up Now for Walk/Jog Class with HealthSteps

August 24th, 2015

How many steps did you walk today? It is recommended that everyone walk 10,000 steps each. Walking regularly offers a whole host of health benefits including:

• Decreased risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes
• Decreased blood pressure and blood sugar levels
• Improved mental well being
• Decreased risk of osteoporosis
• Decreased body fat

If you’re looking for an individualized form of exercise, walking may be just what the “doctor ordered,” as you choose your pace, your distance, and whether you go it alone or enjoy walking with a friend, a co-worker, or a family member.

Best practice is to start slow, gradually increasing your time and pace over an extended period. As you become accustomed to walking more, your eventual goal should be to aim for 30 minutes a day and a total of 150 minutes a week, to experience the aforementioned array of health benefits; however, remember, don’t get discouraged as any amount of exercise is better than none!

(Left to right) Instructor, Jennifer Smith leads walk/jog crew Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Gary Bain, Norm Demers, and Curt Fuller through their morning workout.

(Left to right) Instructor, Jennifer Smith leads walk/jog crew Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Gary Bain, Norm Demers, and Curt Fuller through their morning workout.

If you find the heat, rain, or cold Maine winters deter your exercise regime, HealthSteps offers a class called Walk Jog that takes place on the Bates indoor track; so the weather will never be an issue again! You decide whether you want to start right off on your own or walk with the group. If the group is what you choose, a light warm up will take place followed by a walk. Once the time is up for walking, a small strengthening, cool down, and stretching session ends the class. In this 50 minute class, your 30 minutes of daily exercise is more than done!

Hear it from our very own dedicated walkers…

“At 88 years old participating in HealthSteps was the best investment in my health that I could have ever made.” -Normand Demers

“I have been jogging for over 30 years but would not do so outside in the winter months because of the weather. Treadmills were not an option. Fifteen years ago I was introduced to the HealthSteps program, which was a real Godsend since I can now use the Bates College 200m (1/8 mile) track. This track has a Mondo 8 surface, which is the same surface as used on modern day Olympic tracks and very easy on my aging joints.” –Richard Houle

In addition to Walk Jog classes, HealthSteps offers a wide range of other classes with the core membership fee.

For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at: www.stmarysmaine.com. Pre-registration for all programs is required. Call today and start your way to a new healthy lifestyle in which you will feel better, have more energy, meet great people, and enjoy exercise even more!

Join us for Aquatic Fitness

August 17th, 2015

Some of the best exercise you can get is in the water. There are two ways that are most common, swimming and aqua aerobics. Both fall into the category of aerobic physical activity. Two and a half hours of aerobic activity a week is recommended for multiple health benefits including preventing and improving chronic illnesses. What better way than to enjoy that time in a pool? St. Mary’s HealthSteps offers both open lap swimming and Aquatic Fitness classes.

Lap Swim

Swim at your own pace and enjoy this individualized form of exercise in the 25-meter, 8-lane pool.

Wednesdays, 6:05-7:00 AM; Mondays and Fridays, 6:05-7:30 AM (Beginning Oct. 30, Mondays and Fridays change to 6:30-7:30 AM); Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:05-7:00 AM, (Tuesdays and Thursdays available until Oct. 29)

Aquatic Fitness

HealthSteps members enjoy a refreshing water-based workout! Front row (L to R): Sheila Sylvester, Janet Irish, Louella Hood  Second Row: Helen McNelly, Dick St. Pierre  Third Row: Joyce Richmond

HealthSteps members enjoy a refreshing water-based workout! Front row (L to R): Sheila Sylvester, Janet Irish, Louella Hood
Second Row: Helen McNelly, Dick St. Pierre
Third Row: Joyce Richmond

Join us for a great workout that’s easy on your joints using the water as resistance!  While swimming skills are not needed, a comfort level in both deep and shallow water is important.

Wednesdays, 6:05-6:55 AM; Mondays, Fridays, 6:30-7:15 AM

Open lap swim offers members an individualized form of exercise where they can choose their own pace. Whether you’re an Olympic swimmer or a doggy paddle expert, the pool is open to you for your aerobic exercise needs.

Aquatic fitness classes, on the other hand, are a social group activity. No swimming skills are required but feeling comfortable in deep water and shallow water while wearing a floatation belt is important.

Aquatic exercise provides many benefits including allowing for an increased range of motion, greater muscle resistance, and less impact on joints, which decreases participants’ chances of an impact injury. The following is what some of our aquatic exercise fans have to say about it.

“Going to my water aerobics class in the morning not only starts my day off right with exercise, but I also enjoy seeing my friends there!” -Janet Irish

I’m so glad I joined HealthSteps over 15 years ago. The water aerobics class is perfect for exercising without undue stress on my arthritic joints.  – Sheila Sylvester

In addition to aquatic fitness and lap swimming, HealthSteps offers a wide range of other classes with the core membership fee.

For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at www.stmarysmaine.com. Pre-registration for all programs is required. Call today and start your way to a new healthy lifestyle in which you will feel better, have more energy, meet great people, and enjoy exercise even more!

 

NEW MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF ST. MARY’S ORTHOPAEDICS

July 17th, 2015

michael newman hs 2 croppedMichael “MT” Newman, MD was named Medical Director of St. Mary’s orthopaedic service line. The announcement was made today by Lee Myles, CEO and President at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, and Wayne Moody, M.D, who has held the position since its inception.
“Michael Newman is excited to be taking on this role, and will be building on the strong foundation that Wayne Moody has created for the orthopaedic service,” said Myles.
Dr. Moody is the architect behind the hospital’s successful Center for Joint Replacement. During the past five years he has been building a hospital-based orthopaedic practice as a corollary to the Center for Joint Replacement. Dr. Moody personally recruited Dr. Newman to St. Mary’s specifically with this transition in mind. Dr. Moody will continue to support the Orthopaedic service line in a number of ways, including continued Directorship of the Center for Joint Replacement, treating patients in the practice and performing surgery. Furthermore he will continue to promote St. Mary’s orthopaedic services regionally.
Dr. Newman is Fellowship trained in total hip and knee reconstruction. His experience and skills as an orthopedic surgeon include 16 years of active duty Navy service. His last 5 years he served as Chief of Joint Replacement at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, M.D.

St. Mary’s Health System Names a New President and Chief Executive Officer

July 15th, 2015

 

Christopher Chekouras Named New President and CEO of St. Mary's Health System

Christopher Chekouras Named New President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System

St. Mary’s Board Chair Craig Gunderson and Covenant Health President and CEO David Lincoln are pleased to announce that the St. Mary’s Search Committee has chosen Christopher Chekouras of Shamong, New Jersey as the next President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, Maine.

Chekouras is currently Senior Vice President of Post-Acute and Community-Based Services at Virtua, a comprehensive southern New Jersey healthcare system with three hospitals. He will replace St. Mary’s current President and CEO,  Lee Myles, who is retiring in October.

The St. Mary’s Search Committee chose Chekouras following an intensive process with multiple strong candidates. According to Gunderson it was the breadth of Chekouras’ experience which impressed the group.

“Chris brings with him broad acute care leadership skills, including strategic planning, business development, physician and board relations, philanthropy, marketing, finance and operations,” said Gunderson.

“He was an outstanding choice in our mind not only because of his background, but also his proven history of achieving results through effective collaboration, transparent communication and personal accountability.”

“Even better,” said Gunderson, “he shares St. Mary’s values.  We think Chris is a great fit.”

Covenant Health President and CEO David Lincoln is equally positive about the choice.

“We are pleased to have Chris joining the Covenant Health leadership team,” said Lincoln.  “He’s mission-driven and will continue the strong faith tradition at St. Mary’s.”

“Chris brings dynamic energy, leadership skills and innovative ideas that will help clinically strengthen and grow the St. Mary’s system. We’ve made great strides this year, and we look forward to advancing our progress further with Chris at the helm of St. Mary’s.”

Chekouras, who formally begins his new role as CEO on October 5, says he eagerly looks forward to joining the St. Mary’s family.

“I am humbled to be given the opportunity to join St. Mary’s Health System.  It is an honor and a privilege to become part of their team.  Together we will continue to build on the 127-year healthcare legacy of St. Mary’s and the Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe.”

 

“The St. Mary’s Search Committee and I are delighted that Chris and his wife Jennifer will be joining the St. Mary’s community,” said Gunderson. “We are looking forward to introducing him to St. Mary’s and the larger community.”

“You can’t help but like him,” Gunderson said, “or feel his energy, creativity and positive approach.”

 

The Truth about Teething

June 12th, 2015

By Suzanne Stevenson, APRN, MSN, NP-C

CCS Pediatrics, Lewiston

Teething is one of the many celebrated “firsts” of a child’s first year of life.  Parents often wonder if their baby’s low grade fever, diarrhea, or sleepless nights are a result of erupting teeth.  There are many myths surrounding teething symptoms and treatments.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has recently published two studies showing that the only symptoms associated with teething are biting and mouthing, drooling, gum rubbing and irritability.  Parents and caregivers often attribute fever, diarrhea, red cheeks and rashes to teething, however, they are often times associated with illness and may warrant evaluation by your child’s pediatric provider.

There are many remedies both safe and unsafe for treating the discomfort associated with teething.  Amber teething necklaces are becoming increasingly popular as parents look for alternative ways to relieve baby’s sore gums.  These necklaces, however, pose a significant risk to infants.  They can easily break if they are able to get into baby’s mouth, and just one small bead can pose a choking hazard.  Teething necklaces can also cause strangulation.  Most teething necklace distributors have a disclaimer that necklaces should only be used under adult supervision, though many parents keep them on infants 24 hours a day.  Though these necklaces are thought to emit oils that relieve pain there are no studies supporting this claim.  Topical “gum numbing” medication can be harmful as well and has not been shown to be beneficial in alleviating pain from teething.

Teething toys are generally safe  as long as they are large enough to not fit inside a toilet paper or paper towel roll.  Anything smaller should not be given to a child under the age of three.  Teething rings are a great way to sooth sore gums.  They should be chilled in the refrigerator, not the freezer, and should never be boiled or placed in the dishwasher.  Mesh fruit traps can hold frozen vegetables or fruit which baby can chew on.  Other safe ways to help ease your infant’s pain are freezing wash clothes and letting baby chew on it.  Finally, acetaminophen and ibuprofen (for infants over 6 months of age) can be helpful in relieving teething discomfort, but should only be used when necessary.  You should talk to your pediatrician about appropriate dosing.  Teething can be a trying time for both parents and babies.  Always ask your pediatric provider for advice when you are unsure of symptoms or treatment options.

 

Suzanne Stevenson, APRN, MSN, NP-C

suzanne stevenson webSuzanne Stevenson is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at CCS Pediatrics in Lewiston.   Suzanne has a wide range of clinical experience in pediatric care. She has worked in emergency departments, newborn nurseries, transitional NICU, and a primary care office setting.  She earned her Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.

Suzanne is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Surgeon at St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics

June 12th, 2015

mohamed al saied croppedSt. Mary’s is proud to welcome Mohamed Al-Saied, MD to its surgical staff and orthopaedic team at the Center for Orthopaedics.  Dr. Al-Saied is Fellowship trained in total joint replacement of the hip and knee as well as foot and ankle surgery. He earned his medical degree, MBBCh, from Al-Fatah University in Tripoli, Libya and performed his residency and Clinical Fellowship at Toronto Western Hospital at the University of Toronto in Ontario. He also performed a joint arthroplasty fellowship at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Dr. Al-Saied is certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is eligible for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Al-Saied is accepting patients at St. Mary’s Center for Orthopaedics at 15 Gracelawn Road in Auburn.  For an appointment, please call 333-4710.

HealthSteps at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Announces its Summer Programming

May 21st, 2015

Summer will soon be here. Take this opportunity to join HealthSteps!  Whether you meet us for a walk on the rubberized track, a dip in the pool, or try one of our classes, you are sure to have FUN with your friends at HealthSteps.

Multipurpose Room

TNT (Tone-N-Tighten)

This weighted workout focuses on total body strengthening. It’s also a great way to increase your metabolism!

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 7:05-7:45am

Time to Stretch

Enjoy a full body stretch for relaxation, peace of mind, and an increase in flexibility.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 7:45-8:00am
Pictured Bob Poirier and Marc McPheters jogging next to Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Elaine Freeman, Normand Demers, and Grace Trainor as they all participate in HealthSteps' Walk-Jog class conveniently located at the beautiful indoor track at Bates College.

Pictured Bob Poirier and Marc McPheters jogging next to Rick Dodge, Gert Chasse, Elaine Freeman, Normand Demers, and Grace Trainor as they all participate in HealthSteps’ Walk-Jog class conveniently located at the beautiful indoor track at Bates College.

On the Track 

Walk Jog

Enjoy the indoor track at your own pace.  Includes an optional group warm-up, strengthening, cool-down, and stretching.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 6:05-6:55am

In the Pool

Lap Swim

Swim at your own pace and enjoy this individualized form of exercise in the 25-meter, 8-lane pool supervised by a certified lifeguard.

Mondays, Fridays, 6:30-7:30am, Wednesdays, 6:05-7:00am

Aquatic Fitness

Join us for a great workout that’s easy on your joints using the water as resistance!  While swimming skills are not needed, a comfort level in both deep and shallow water is important.

Mondays, Fridays, 6:30-7:15am

Wednesdays, 6:05-6:55am

Senior Fitness

This one-hour class is a safe, fun, and effective workout!  Included are a warm-up, cardiovascular component, resistance training, balance, and flexibility exercises.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 8:30-9:30am

Location: d’Youville Pavilion Resident Dining Room, 102 Campus Ave, 2nd Floor

 Core classes are held in the beautiful Bates College Merrill Gymnasium unless otherwise noted. Classes run from June 1 – August 28.  The cost of a core membership, which includes unlimited access to all of the above classes, is $104.00. Monthly and weekly rates are available as well.

HealthSteps core classes take place in the morning, so you can exercise before you start your day.  All instructors are certified and ready to take you through a safe and productive workout no matter what your fitness level.  Call today and start your way to a new healthy lifestyle where you will feel better, have more energy, meet great people, and enjoy exercise even more!  For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at: www.stmarysmaine.com.